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The Days of Writing Past

  Our own John Swenson was name-checked recently in this interview with B-movie critic Joe Kane, which paints an entertaining picture of the arts-writing community in New York in the 1970s: […]

An Idle Monday Morning Question

  Is it just my imagination, or has the city seemed musically adrift this year? I’ve been excited by a lot of music from the past few years, but this […]


I sympathize with the OffBeat staffer whose attitude towards Twitter ranges from scornful to disdainful to curious to hostile. This week, Tales of the Cocktail seemed to defeat one of […]

Don’t Miss “Miss”

  For our friends in NYC: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Terence Blanchard, Dr. Ike from the Ponderosa Stomp, and journalist Larry Blumenfeld will speak […]

Never Can Say Goodbye

  Right now I’m watching the coverage of Michael Jackson’s memorial on CNN, and the facebook updates on the righthand side of the screen are updating so quickly that all […]

Essence Previews

This weekend, the Essence Music Festival comes to town with a pretty exciting lineup, particularly in the superlounges, which are more intimate than you’d expect any space in the Superdome […]

My Curse to You

  Last night, a friend told me that he and a buddy in Arkansas started sending each other text messages jamming two song titles together – “Tangled Up in Blue […]

Where’s Maxwell?

  In Sunday’s New York Times, Jon Pareles profiles Maxwell, who’ll headline the Essence Music Festival Saturday on the main stage. In the piece, he writes about Maxwell’s almost 8-year-long […]

Sad, to be Kind

This is inevitable, but dance music artist Kynt posted this “New Orleans Bounce Remix” of Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.” It’s hard for me to hear it as anything but […]

The Challenge

  How do you write about Michael Jackson that doesn’t seem brutally reductive? Tom Moon, writer of 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die,  addressed this question on his blog: Normally I’m […]